I'm a mild gamer so i don't go for powerful graphics card. But I do love to watch on-line media and this build main intention is to replace my dvd player and store my dvd collection onto the computer for quick and easy access and get a blu-ray player, it will heavily be used for ripping and transcoding at least for a good long time, with mild gaming on the side, there is a desk monitor speaker set up separate to the tv set up but are realitvly close to each other.
Total is ~ 1700 after shipping tax etc not a problem it's about what i aimed for, any suggestions on this. Remember Quiet and Cool over a long long period of time is what i desire then Gaming is second, nothing ruins watching a movie more then 4-5 2800rpm fans in a case making more noise then a barking dog.
I like aftermarket vga coolers because gpu's tend to be the most vulnerable to ambient temperatures and this comp will be probably running half the day or more and because i'm using quiet venting fans i can't move as much air as i would like to maintain a very lower ambient temperature. I remember putting an aftermarket cooler on my 7900 made all the world in keeping it cool during long periods.
I do not need a lot of power for when i play games i only play on a 19" 1280x1024
As for as the 10 dollar difference I've been a long user of pc power and cooling also i find usually the big 120mm fan or w.e for psu are quiet until put under load then they tend to speed up to be quite loud.
forget the quadcore . Its going to make twice as much heat [ and noise] as a C2D . Get yourself an e8400 . It doesnt matter if it takes longer to to rip and encode a movie . You are not going to be sitting there watching it .
If you are gaming at 1280x1024, you may be satisfied with the performance of a 4670. They are low-power cards, so they won't add a lot of heat. If you want more power though, look at a 4830 or 4850. Some HIS models of those cards (HD4670 to HD4850) cost a little more but have 2-slot coolers and will exhaust the heat out of your case. I have a HIS 4850, and it is virtually silent up to 50% fan speed, and not obnoxious even faster.
I'm not sure I understand your hard drive choices. You might like a single 320GB drive for your OS and apps, and 3 (or more) WD 1TB in RAID-5 for data. Avoid the latest Seagates, they have lots of problems. Even with all these drives, especially if you go for a lower-power GPU, an Antec Earthwatts 500 would be sufficient. It has an 80mm fan, but any of the ones I've used (also the 430W and 380W models) have been very quiet. Earthwatts are now made by Delta, the same company responsible for their Signature series.